HomeDigital MinistryCommunication4 Church Website Options for Your Digital Front Door

4 Church Website Options for Your Digital Front Door

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For years, the worship service was the front door of your church. The best way to connect people was to have them attend on a Sunday, hope they liked the experience, and want to know more.

The growth of a tech conscience, research minded population has changed that. The church website is the new digital front door of your church.

With 85% of people visiting online before they attend in person, you have an average of seven seconds to make an impression. Visitors are looking for clear, conscience and organized information. They expect service times, location, worship style, children’s programs, information about the pastor, church size, and more, to be readily accessible.

So how can we create and maintain a website that embodies the personality of our church and doesn’t break the bank?

1) Plan Before You Act

Church Comm pt 5The tendency with a church website is to treat it like an online version of your bulletin…

Post as much information as possible and let the reader sort it out.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

Before you ever design a page you need to answer:

  • What is your goal online? (awareness, community connection, church engagement, information, etc.)
  • Who is your audience? (visitors, attenders, leaders)
  • What will you share? (times, locations, ministry information, etc)
  • What do you want to include? (social media, sermon audio, sermon video, event registration, online giving, etc.)

2) Prioritize

Time and budget are the biggest challenges you will face as you build your website. Once you know what you want to include prioritize them. If you can’t afford to include something in your website immediately don’t give up on it. Consider making it part of a second phase or future budget year.

3) Be Realistic

Don’t underestimate the time required for upkeep and maintenance of your website. It requires technical knowledge to manage the site, forethought to work ahead and people skills to track down information from ministry leaders.

You spend hours each week planning for Sunday and training volunteers to serve. You wouldn’t dream of putting if off until the last minute or ignoring it for weeks. Your website requires the same type of intentional planning and focus.

You need to know:

  • Who is responsible for managing the website?
  • Do they have the time to do this well?
  • Do they have the ability to do this well?

4) Pick A Website Solution

The options abound for website creation, management and upkeep. Based on your plan, priorities and budget you can pick a solution to match.

Custom Design

Endlessly customizable based on your needs and ministry desires, mobile integration available

  • Price depends what technology you desire to incorporate

Pre Packaged Design

customizable church templates with user support

WordPress

Theme based template design, high customizable, mobile friendly options, functionality added in pieces based on your needs, a technically minded staff member or volunteer can design and maintain it for you

  • low cost to set up and manage

As you plan your new website or contemplate updating your existing one remember… this is your new front door. It is the way you will be viewed and remembered by a large percentage of your community.

Make certain it represents your church and the gospel in a way worth remembering.

 

Ryan Holck
Ryan Holckhttps://rad-ideas.com
Ryan is the founder of RAD Ideas and Graphics.Church. He works with churches and denominations to grow their ministry through graphic design and marketing strategy. Follow Ryan at RAD-Ideas.com.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Ryan, good suggestions. Another option for church websites is OurChurch.Com. Prices start at only $7 a month and include the use of a the WordPress-based WP-EZ Website Builder.

  2. Our church has used Sharefaith for some years. The prior site was poorly done and maintained. Sharefaith’s tools based on WordPress are easy to use with an easy learning curve. And their support is awesome. The $41 dollar a month cost includes so much more than a website. There is access to a lot of free graphics plus included is easy to use APP builder.

    So we now have a great site and a useful APP.

  3. Clover Sites actually just came out with a brand new version of their system which looks totally modern and easy to use. They even have parallax designs!

  4. We have used Google Sites for some time. They are free: no setup or hosting fees. You only pay for the domain name. They have templates you can use or modify, you can design your own, or get someone to design it for you. There isn’t any formal support, but I’ve always been able to get my questions answered on their forums.

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